WVU Tops Austria, 3-1

  • By Ashley Bailey
  • |
  • May 19, 2017 12:01 PM
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MARIBOR, Slovenia – The West Virginia University volleyball team bounced back from Thursday’s loss to Croatia with a 3-1 win over the Austrian National Team on Friday at the Dras Center in Maribor. The Mountaineers claimed the win in set scores of 25-28, 27-25, 32-34 and 25-20.
Payton Caffrey netted a team-high 17 kills in the win, which moved WVU to 2-1 while in Europe. Caffrey notched a double-double, posting a team-best 14 digs as well. Gianna Gotterba added 13 digs, while Taylor Cross registered 12. Natania Levak led the squad with five blocks. Levak, Gotterba and Gabrielle Cuckovich teamed for five service aces.
“This tour is all about gaining experience,” WVU coach Reed Sunahara said. “I think we rebounded well from yesterday and did some nice things today. Austria is another team with great international experience. Playing these games has certainly helped us learn some valuable lessns.”
After trading points to start the match, the Mountaineers went on to force Austria into a pair of timeouts and handily claimed the first set by a score of 25-18. Caffrey led the offense with four kills, while Cuckovich added WVU’s lone ace of the set. Erin Slinde finished with a team-best six digs and Levak posted a pair of blocks.
The two kept the second set close as well, but West Virginia eventually prevailed to claim a 27-25 win on a block. Caffrey and Katelyn Evans teamed for eight kills, netting four apiece to lead the way. Cross dug a team-best six balls while Levak added two more blocks to her tally as the Mountaineers took a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set was another battle, as the teams combined for 66 total points with Austria taking a 34-32 victory. Caffrey had a team-high seven kills and also led the floor defense with five digs. Levak and Morgan Montgomery each notched a block in the loss.
West Virginia rallied to take the fourth set, using a late scoring run to win 25-20 and take the match 3-1. Caffrey and Swanegan combined for four kills, while Caffrey and Cross each recorded four digs. Swanegan, Evans and Morgan Montgomery each had a block in the set, while Levak and Gotterba each had a pair of digs.
The Mountaineers travel to Bled, Slovenia, on Saturday to face the Slovenian Junior National Team.